Click to read Matt Nida’s in-depth review of Hearts of Space and its service. It goes like this:
Early this year I was in need of some rather more meditative ambient music than the slightly more intense, kosmische-style tape stuff I’d been listening to. Enter Hearts of Space: a weekly ambient radio series broadcast on US public radio and streamed and archived online at hos.com. Is this the ambient motherload?
The short answer is yes. For a fee, you can stream every episode of the show ever recorded – well over a thousand of them, each an hour long and dating back to 1983. Each show is based around a single theme, whether that be a sub-genre or concept, an artist retrospective, or a look at a particular country or era. Host and producer Stephen Hill’s definition of ambient is slightly wider than one might at first expect; his preferred term is ‘space music’, incorporating not just electronic ambient music but classical, jazz, folk, “world” and other instrumental styles that generate spacious, contemplative atmospheres – or, to use the show’s snappy subtitle, “slow music for fast times”.
But it is not all positive:
Unfortunately, working out exactly what you’re getting and how you listen to it involves mining the labyrinthine website, and grappling with the archaic streaming flash player. There’s also a huge platform disparity; there are iOS and Android apps, but if you want to listen to ‘archive’ shows you need to create a playlist via the website that you then open in the app – a task so unintuitive that I had to consult the website’s instructions to figure this out. At the moment, there’s no direct archive searching via the apps.
Read the complete review here.